Meaning of anaphor in English:


Pronunciation /ˈanəfɔː/ /ˈanəfə/


  • A word or phrase that refers back to an earlier word or phrase (e.g. in my cousin said she was coming, she is used as an anaphor for my cousin).

    • ‘In the latter case, a referential anaphor refers to what its antecedent refers to; the anaphor is thus said to be coreferential with its antecedent.’
    • ‘The latter case, where an anaphor refers to the set-theoretical difference of restrictor and scope, has been studied by both psycholinguists and formal semanticists.’
    • ‘The domain from which potential antecedents for both individual and discourse-deictic anaphors can be elicited is defined in terms of dialogue acts.’
    • ‘Two complicating factors are that the relation between anaphors and antecedents is by no means unrestricted and that often there is a partial match between anaphor and antecedent.’
    • ‘Correlatively, it has been suggested that temporal anaphors like ‘then’ and modal anaphors like ‘that’ (in ‘that would have been unfortunate’) are kinds of descriptions.’


1970s back-formation from anaphora.



/ˈanəfɔː/ /ˈanəfə/